A new taxi-meter service began operating in Chiang Rai last week. Although taxi-meters were previously available from Chiang Rai airport and for trips outside of the city, the new service is also authorised to pick up passengers within the city limits.
The taxi operators and Chiang Rai authorities say the taxi-meters will be a real benefit for tourists. However, not everybody is happy with the new arrangements. Shortly after the taxis began operating in Chiang Rai city there was an altercation between some tuk-tuk owners and cab drivers. The angry scenes took place at Chiang Rai’s popular night bazaar area with the tuk-tuk drivers unhappy that the taxis were taking customers away from them.
At the moment there are 25 of the yellow and blue taxis working in Chiang Rai, but the fleet is expected to expand to 50. Within the city the flag fare has been quoted as 30 Baht for the first two kilometres and 2 Baht for each additional kilometre. Out of town trips are to be charged at 10 Baht per kilometre. Transfer from the city to Chiang Rai airport is 120 Baht and there will also be an additional 20 Baht fee for telephone bookings requesting pick-up from hotels and homes.